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Kim

Against Runocriticism

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3 hours ago, Kim said:

Look at the complete frelling frellfest of Kralorela, as it appeared in the recent Atlas. I'm still shocked and dismayed at it. So a third of that continent's now gonna be subsumed into some three-phase personality rune identity magic affinity globalization thing? Maybe that's best. Second best, after being nuked from orbit.

OK, because I've been given the chance to play HQ:G and also playtest RQ:G (or whatever it will be called), although not in Kralorela, I think it may be useful to clarify a few things here.

Because, well, these two systems differ but both try to represent Glorantha, in their own way.

In other words, they are just what they are: game systems.

And the Gloranthan community is possibly the one that puts the highest emphasis on MGF over rules...

 

Still, just to give you a bit of details on these systems representing people:

1) HeroQuest:Glorantha:

No, people are not restricted to a "three-phase personality rune identity".

When you create a character in HQ:G, you must pick a predominant Element, a predominant Power, and well, a predominant whatever-you-like (which can belong to the former categories). And then, you pick five abilities - including, if you so wish, other Runes. So, a Kralorelan can very well be a taciturn (Darkness), coleric (Storm) yet disillusionedly obedient (Fate) warrior (Death) who found illumination (Infinity) in the Immanent Mastery way (Dragonewt) and whose merit was rewarded by the Emperor (Godunya). That's 6 or 7 runes, so what?

Now remember, all abilities in HQ:G are just a way to represent "what you can do to overcome challenges". Because you don't have the "Play football" ability doesn't mean you don't find pleasure watching it on TV. It's just not going to help you overcome obstacles; instead, maybe you may actually have the "Make accointances by chatting about football matches" ability!

So, HQ:G doesn't contradict that all humans (maybe even all sentients) in Glorantha are made up of ALL runes. It's just that, well, "some girls are bigger than others" as the song goes.

So, don't worry: Kralorela is as much of a complicated mess as the rest  :-)

 

2) RQ:G:

In yet-to-be RuneQuest:Glorantha, creating a character involves to:

- pick 3 Element runes that get higher % values (60/40/20), then applying cultural bonuses and additional points to share among elements.

- pick 3 (IIRC) Power runes [well, that category includes Man and Beast too, in that case] that get higher values (75, and the opposite gets 25), and I don't remember but I think you also get points to spend (given that whatever you spend on one side is lost on the other side of the pair (unless you're illuminated).

- and don't care about the other (e.g. Condition) runes, such as Fate, Luck, Magic, Law, Chaos, etc.

Again, it's a means to an end. Everyone is made up of all elements, but which ones can you draw power/help from?

So far, Kralorela isn't covered in the base rule book; but I'd guess creating the same character as above would involve putting your big scores in Darkness, Storm, Death, and spending other skill points on stuff like Meditation etc. which wouldn't be represented by runes, but would somehow correspond to the link the character has to the Immanent Mastery, Godunya, etc. I have no idea about the illumination skill(s) but there's certainly something there, and probably not described as a Rune in that case. Although it probably is, from a mythical standpoint.

 

So, you get different rules, but still the same world. Just not described the same way.

After all, is an electron a particle, or a wave...? ;-)

 

OK, enough foolishness for tonight.

Edited by Patrick
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4 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

In The Guide to Glorantha, 23 pages out of 754 are specifically about Dragon Pass (several pages are maps). Perhaps another 25-30 pages provide material directly relating to Dragon Pass.

Your complaint seems to be about the coverage of the region in other published material, but that's hardly surprising because it was the focus of most of the Chaosium house campaigns, and the published world has its origins (in published form) in the board game most recently called... Dragon Pass.

It's also a fact that in the world, Dragon Pass is at the crossroads of a continent because it is virtually the only easy pass in a gigantic mountain range that bisects the continent. History is going to funnel through there, much as the Middle East of our world has been the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa - and what a lot of history comes from that...

In comparing Glorantha with Tékumel, I would also note that the Tékumel Sourcebook aside, virtually all the published Tekumel material relates to Tsolyánu or to Tsolyáni characters going elsewhere.

 

 

We're going to pick out one publication and count pages? Is that what this discussion is gonna be about?

The idea that Dragon's Pass is a "natural" focus for history that we ought give a fart about, is a huge f__king s__t in the face of actual historians on one hand, and of actual history on the other. There is no sane reason D.P. is a "crossroad" except that it's been designated as one by writers. And WTF do you mean by saying "the Middle East" was/is a "crossroads"? Where exactly are you talking about? And what places do you leave out to create that "place"?

I've been reading, and admiring, and using your stuff for years, so please, even in an imaginary universe, please don't go down the Thomas Friedman route of historiography.

I know nothing about board games about Gloranha, or their importance. I came upon the (imaginary) place fleetingly, or prematurely, and then bought it (literally) in the '80s, as an entire world. At that time D.P. was, as far as anyone I ever got to meet for well over a decade was concerned, was a pretty arbitrary  and pretty obviously over-engineered place to set published adventures/scenarios.

Re: Tekumel, I've been making fun of the place for nearly forty years. Yes, it's incredibly shallow. You don't even have to talk about non-Tsolyani regions to say that. ALL of the damn place is incredibly shallow. Pick any place the size of, say, modern France on the map of the empire of Tsolyanu itself, and try to crank out a regional history or cultural guide: if you're rich and lucky, you've got 200-300 words of text, is all. Barker, by all accounts (slobbering or not) made the place impressive by his fun and inventive live GM'ing. I think he wrote well, too, about the place; I mean his deceit and deception. He made it up as he went along, even after he'd written 'definitive' world-building books about the place. He Gregged the Greggness out of Greggitude, but never could make it commercial.

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47 minutes ago, Patrick said:

 

Thanks! Everything you've just said about rules and runes and RQ has totally confirmed my suspicions and disinterest in the whole business. Look, it's 2016. We're not teenagers, and actual teenagers are an insane target market now. Only addicts, badly treated autistics, and random male obsessives are gonna pay money for more pages of rules now.

What smacked me up the head about Kralorela, in the Gazetteer, was that after half a million USD investment the writers managed to take an already embarrassing, racist, cliche of China and turn the dial up to 11. Seriously, they couldn't even be bothered to keep on making up fantasy/Gloranthan words for stuff there. Just use modern Chinese! Who cares? It's not like they're people, or even ducks, am I right? Whoo! Heroes! HEROES!!!

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12 hours ago, Kim said:

We're going to pick out one publication and count pages? Is that what this discussion is gonna be about?

No, but it demonstrates that the available coverage of Glorantha is not limited to Dragon Pass.

12 hours ago, Kim said:

The idea that Dragon's Pass is a "natural" focus for history that we ought give a fart about, is a huge f__king s__t in the face of actual historians on one hand, and of actual history on the other. There is no sane reason D.P. is a "crossroad" except that it's been designated as one by writers. And WTF do you mean by saying "the Middle East" was/is a "crossroads"? Where exactly are you talking about? And what places do you leave out to create that "place"?

Dragon Pass is in the center of the continent, at a break in otherwise impassable mountains, and links two or three distinct cultural regions, perhaps four or five, if you count Esrolia as distinct from other Orlanthi and the Grazers. Even if you ignore the non-human denizens, some of whom are large enough to be mistaken as geographic features, it is where North Theyalan and Solar (and their Lunar successors) cultures are going to collide with South Theyalans. Add in nearby Horse People and Animal Nomads who have raided throughout history from one side to the other, and you have an enormous cultural, religious, mythological and military melting pot.

A bit like the Middle East, which throughout history has been where distinct cultures have impacted each other (Anatolians, Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Phoenicians; Greeks, Persians, Egyptians; Romans, Parthians; Moslems, Christians etc.) up to the present day. Such interactions generate busy, often appalling, history, but also major cultural interactions which spread over a much wider area. It's no surprise that three of the world's major religions (and many lesser ones) have their origins there.

12 hours ago, Kim said:

I've been reading, and admiring, and using your stuff for years, so please, even in an imaginary universe, please don't go down the Thomas Friedman route of historiography.

I suspect you are mistaking me for someone else.

Had to look up Thomas Friedman; so far as I can determine he writes about modern history and politics, not ancient history.

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On 5/17/2016 at 10:22 PM, Kim said:

MOB, I've loved your work in Glorantha for decades, and I'm sort of disgusted at myself if I cross you here. 

Well, you have - (putting on my moderator hat here): robust discussion is welcome at BRP Central, but in trying to be provocative some of your postings simply come across as needlessly offensive. Strong opinions are fine, but please moderate your language and tone.

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On 6/11/2016 at 6:40 AM, MOB said:

Well, you have - (putting on my moderator hat here): robust discussion is welcome at BRP Central, but in trying to be provocative some of your postings simply come across as needlessly offensive. Strong opinions are fine, but please moderate your language and tone.

I'd like to apologize for the state in which I wrote some of my posts in this forum. The state wasn't mine (medicated or over/underwise); I was the state. I am totally needless to Glorantha, and I'm at least as likely as not to be offensive to it.

So far as I've been able to find out, I'm part of the only Gloranthan-oriented gaming group in a nearly a thousand kilometers that isn't tolerant of a very certain 'Northern European Heritage' type of paganism -- if not strongly supportive of it. Whose needless offense is the topic here?

Is there some neutral ground where Gloranthophiles can perform anything resembling discussions, outside of these hallowed grounds? IDon't tell me about some social frelling media platform; word salad billowing after 72 hours, actual physical privacy vaporizing before 1/72 second.) Wish there were, but this seems to be the best of what we're stuck with: an aggressively commercial chat forum.

I do apologize for all the offenses I didn't intend. Believe it or not, there must have been a lot of those. And for all the rest -- oh, I enjoyed offending all of you!!! YOU'RE GLORENTHA IS RONG!!!!!!

Kim

 

 

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On 6/11/2016 at 3:11 AM, M Helsdon said:

Had to look up Thomas Friedman; so far as I can determine he writes about modern history and politics, not ancient history.

He can write that far back as modernity??? I should examine and struggle my errors out.

But, seriously: Heldson's implication is pretty close to what I was imputing.

Edited by Kim
reason for edit? i cant'!

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3 hours ago, Kim said:

He can write that far back as modernity??? I should examine and struggle my errors out.

The only Thomas Friedman I can find has written the following:

All in the modern era: nothing about the Ancient World that Glorantha emulates.

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13 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

The only Thomas Friedman I can find has written the following:

All in the modern era: nothing about the Ancient World that Glorantha emulates.

I'm assuming you're capable of conceiving of the idea that historians work with models, techniques, methods, and theories; and aren't just homespun truth-tellers about way-back-then. But I could be wrong; it seems you're saying that historiography is only a specific time and specific place, and that's it. Someone who is so refractory to acknowledging 'Friedman Analysis' as a common slang in hist-jabber is not the M. Heldson I've idolized.

I doubt The Ancient World you know to be real has much to do with mine.

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21 minutes ago, Kim said:

I'm assuming you're capable of conceiving of the idea that historians work with models, techniques, methods, and theories; and aren't just homespun truth-tellers about way-back-then. But I could be wrong; it seems you're saying that historiography is only a specific time and specific place, and that's it. Someone who is so refractory to acknowledging 'Friedman Analysis' as a common slang in hist-jabber is not the M. Heldson I've idolized.

I doubt The Ancient World you know to be real has much to do with mine.

(MOB wearing moderator hat again)  - sorry, this is starting to stray a long way from Glorantha, and this a Glorantha forum. And Kim, once again your comments are verging on rude. 

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7 minutes ago, MOB said:

(MOB wearing moderator hat again)  - sorry, this is starting to stray a long way from Glorantha, and this a Glorantha forum. And Kim, once again your comments are verging on rude. 

I agree. I'm gonna drop this thread now, and also apologize for all the personal offense I've given. And I'm wondering how bad my brainrot is; I may have been mistaking M Heldson for a completely different person I had in my mind -- embarrassing, and again, I apologize. Whatever Heldson I've been contra-posting with lately, is someone whose Glorantha I still am interested in.

Gimme this Parthian shot though: if this is "a long way from Glorantha", and is (lately) about how historians and historiography do their business, then where exactly can fans of Glorantha talk about one of the disciplines that fed the growth of Glorantha as a thing (a place? a product? a property?)?

Dunno. Maybe I'll try to fire up the old listservs and see if people bite. ('People' in the widest sense of the term, naturally. I do like ducks.)

MOB, M Heldson, I really do apologize. Not for my Glorantha, but my behavior on this private forum.

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5 hours ago, Kim said:

I'm assuming you're capable of conceiving of the idea that historians work with models, techniques, methods, and theories; and aren't just homespun truth-tellers about way-back-then. But I could be wrong; it seems you're saying that historiography is only a specific time and specific place, and that's it. Someone who is so refractory to acknowledging 'Friedman Analysis' as a common slang in hist-jabber is not the M. Heldson I've idolized.

I haven't used the term 'Friedman Analysis' and am not clear as to how Milton Friedman's test would be applied to history, real or Gloranthan. It's very difficult to quantify 'history'.

If you want a Historian more relevant to Glorantha, I'd suggest Herodotus.

His History is the same mix of historical fact, speculation, fabrication, and myth you'll find in the texts written as though written by Gloranthans.

In the real world we have historical texts, artifacts and archaeological sites, in Glorantha the 'objective' sources such as Cults of Prax or Cults of Terror (and both of those are potentially 'local') and much of the Guide, and 'subjective' sources such as King of Sartar, most of the Stafford Library, and the in-world texts quoted in the Guide. Many of the subjective sources are intentionally contradictory, and some are of highly dubious accuracy. King of Sartar seems to emulate most closely the matter of Arthur in sources such as the pseudo-historical Historia Regum Britanniae, various Welsh texts and others. It's not clear if Arthur, if he lived, was one figure or several, just as Argrath may be one man or several - the name is also a title - and echoes the earlier Arkat. 

Edited by M Helsdon
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